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Afghanistan Cricket Board has appointed former Sri Lankan cricketer Avishka Gunawardene as their new batting coach. Gunawardene will assist the team’s batting department during an upcoming tour of Pakistan next month. Afghanistan is set to play 3 ODIs against Pakistan in Sri Lanka next month. Earlier, the Afghanistan cricket board had named former Australian fast bowler Shaun Tait as their new bowling coach.
The news comes amid the ongoing turmoil in the Asian nation. Afghanistan has been taken over by the Taliban groups. The Taliban fighters are seeking a transfer of power from the Afghanistan government. A few days ago, Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani fled to Tajikistan after Taliban fighters entered the outskirts of the capital city Kabul.
Avishka Gunawardene Appointed As New Batting Coach Of Afghanistan Cricket Team
Avishka Gunawardene represented Sri Lanka’s national side from 1998 to 2006. He only played 6 Test matches in his career but played a lot more than 61 ODIs. Not tasting a lot of success in Tests with the bat, he totalled for 181 runs. The former left-handed batsman mustered 1708 runs in ODIs, along with 1 century and 12 half-centuries. He was an explosive left-handed batsman during his active career.
Avishka Gunawardene also has some coaching experience in his kitty. He coached the Sri Lanka A team in the past. Also in 2017, he was appointed as the batting coach of the Sri Lanka national side. Now, he will be all set to start his new coaching journey with the Afghanistan team. Avishka Gunawardene was facing some corruption charges earlier but International Cricket Council in May had cleared him of all the charges, allowing him to participate in cricket-related activities.
Meanwhile, doubts over Afghanistan’s entry into ICC T20 World Cup 2021 rose after Taliban fighters took over the country. However, Afghanistan cricket board media manager Hikmat Hassan stated that the nation will participate in the tournament. He had also asserted that Taliban rulers have extended their support to cricket in the country.
Recently, Afghanistan played a series against Zimbabwe. They whitewashed Zimbabwe in the T20I series 3-0, while the two-match Test series between both sides ended in a draw after both the teams won 1 game each.
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